Last year was quite a bit different than I expected on January 1st 2015! My exploration into different career options led me from the startup world to designing my own business. In celebration of the new year, I’ve been thinking about what I’ve accomplished in the last 12 months and what’s still to come.
In April I started a publishing company, Recompiler Media, and that’s been my full time job since then. Our main focus is publishing The Recompiler, a quarterly print and online magazine about learning to work with technology in a fun, participatory way. I’ve found that there’s a real gap in educational resources that help people navigate the tech skills ladder, and explain new concepts in a clear and non-judgmental way. So The Recompiler focuses on addressing those gaps, and sharing the varied experiences and perspectives of people with work with technology. It’s been huge fun, and I get to work with amazing contributors.
I’ve also been taking time to reflect on my own experiences in tech, to place them in social and historical contexts, and to write about what I’ve learned. I’m especially proud of the essay and talk I created for Open Source Bridge in June: For Love and For Money. This has led to further explorations into how open source does or doesn’t work to serve our needs, which I’m developing into a talk I hope to give at several conferences this year.
Five years ago I helped write the Citizen Code of Conduct, which is now in use by many communities and events. This started me on a path toward learning how having a code of conduct becomes part of an ongoing practice of creating safer and more welcoming communities. As the communities I help lead grow and change, I’ve learned a number of strategies for dealing with the situations that arise. In the past year, I’ve been working to turn those lessons into materials that other people can make use of, and I gave a talk at Open Source and Feelings about this in October. I’ve very excited to announce that I’m launching a new program with Stumptown Syndicate called Safety First PDX. We’ll be creating a series of community trainings on code of conduct implementation and enforcement, meant to support community members through handling the most common problems they may encounter in a consistent way, supportive of their values. We’ll also be offering these training services to local companies.
That’s my big news so far! In order to keep doing these things, and to continue to grow the work that I’m doing, I need the support of people like you. I’d like your help in getting the word out about The Recompiler and Safety First PDX to more people. You can also support these projects directly: by purchasing subscriptions to the magazine, pledging a monthly contribution to my efforts, or sponsoring the Safety First training program.
When I look at what I managed to do in 2015, I have so many more ideas about how it can grow and improve in the year to come. I’d like to:
- see The Recompiler publish more articles and creative work, from more contributors, more frequently, continuing to support accessible technology education
- pay contributors more (and pay myself more often!)
- travel more to talk about the work I’m doing at conferences and other events
- spend more time researching and writing about the current state of work in the technology industry, to discover more ways we can build a stronger environment
- create resources for other small tech businesses founded by minorities, to share what I and others have learned
If you’re reading this, I know you understand why this work is important. Anything you can do to help me connect with a bigger audience, grow my business, and build a solid nonprofit program would be greatly appreciated.
Here’s to a fabulous 2016!